#DeltaVariant surging in U.S. New data show Delta much more contagious than previous versions of #COVID19. Unvaccinated people: get vaccinated & mask until you do. Everyone in areas of substantial/high transmission should wear a mask, even if vaccinated. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
The time for government mask mandates is over—now is the time for personal responsibility. In May, I signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates by gov't entities. Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask or have their children wear masks.
The new CDC mask guidance is the final political nail into the credibility coffin of public health.
BREAKING: Leaked CDC slides call for universal masking, reinstating community mitigation strategies, vaccine mandates for HCP to stop Delta variant pic.twitter.com/DY2rStp3zY
The Connecticut Department of Public health "strongly recommends" that anyone over the age of 2 wear a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, in areas with significant COVID-19 transmission, per the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance released earlier this week.
The announcement comes after the CDC recommended universal masking in indoor spaces for regions that are experiencing "substantial" or "high" transmission levels of COVID-19. Hartford, New Haven and New London counties have reached that threshold, according to the CDC's COVID Data Tracker.
The latest DPH guidance strongly recommends that people who live in, work in, or visit Hartford, New London or New Haven counties follow the CDC guidance to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
It also encourages residents with underlying medical conditions or who live with high-risk or unvaccinated individuals to consider wearing a mask indoors, including those with young children who are not eligible for the vaccine.
The CDC guidance is not a mandate and it leaves policy decisions up to the state and local level. At present in Connecticut, an executive order remains in effect that requires those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 wear a face mask in public indoor spaces where they cannot social distance, according to DPH.
State officials continue to urge the public to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Connecticut has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, with about 2.3 million residents having received at least one dose.
As of Thursday, the state was reporting 1,133 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in vaccinated residents, with 27 deaths reported in breakthrough cases. That amounts to a .06% breakthrough case rate, DPH said, representing 3.2% of COVID-related deaths since February and less than .01% of deaths overall.
"Emerging science indicates that with the Delta variant in circulation, in some cases vaccinated individuals may become infected with and subsequently transmit COVID infection to others. The risk of contracting and transmitting COVID infection is far greater for the unvaccinated, and vaccination remains the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your community from COVID. The vaccines are readily available at hundreds of locations across Connecticut and everyone who is eligible should consider receiving the vaccine if they have not done so, already," the statement from acting Connecticut DPH Commissioner Deidre Gifford noted.
The state's positivity rate came in at 2.35% Thursday, down from 2.96% the day before. There were 14,401 new tests reported, with 339 new cases. There are 112 people hospitalized with the virus, a net increase of nine from the day before.
The state is reporting COVID-19 related deaths once a week, on Thursday. To date there are 8,293 deaths reported in Connecticut, an increase of seven from last week.
Read full article at NBC Connecticut
30 July, 2021 - 02:50am
30 July, 2021 - 02:50am
Updated 2:18 AM ET, Fri July 30, 2021
Interactive: Tracking Covid-19 vaccinations in the US
CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas, Alexis Benveniste, Clare Duffy, Kevin Liptak, Kay Jones, Kelsie Smith, Alexandra Meeks, Dave Alsup, Raja Razek, Barbara Starr, Deidre McPhillips, Taylor Romine, Alison Kosik and Andy Rose contributed to this report.
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29 July, 2021 - 03:49pm
"We are in touch with the Health Department and Outer Cape Health Services and are closely monitoring the data," Alex Morse told reporters.
The announcement wasn't unusual with roughly half of the country still unvaccinated and flare-ups of the virus popping up in various states.
But within weeks, health officials seemed to be on to something much bigger. The outbreak quickly grew to the hundreds and most of them appeared to be vaccinated.
As of Thursday, 882 people were tied to the Provincetown outbreak. Among those living in Massachusetts, 74% of them were fully immunized, yet officials said the vast majority were also reporting symptoms. Seven people were reported hospitalized.
The initial findings of the investigation led by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seemed to have huge implications.
Before Provincetown, health officials had been operating under the assumption that it was extraordinarily rare for a vaccinated person to become infected with the virus. And if they did, they probably wouldn't end up passing it on to others, such as children too young to qualify for the vaccine or people who were medically vulnerable.
The idea that vaccines halt transmission of the virus was largely behind the CDC's decision in May suggesting vaccinated people could safely go without their masks indoors and in crowds, even if others were unvaccinated.
But that assumption had been based on studies of earlier versions of the virus. Delta was known for its "hyper-transmissibility," or as one former White House adviser put it "COVID on steroids."
"What has changed is the virus," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and Biden's chief medical adviser.
When a vaccinated person gets infected with delta -- called a "breakthrough infection" -- "the level of virus in their nasopharynx is about 1,000 times higher than with the alpha variant," Fauci said in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC.
All indications now are that the Provincetown outbreak investigation is among the pieces of new evidence behind the CDC's decision to ask Americans to once again put on their masks indoors, even if they are vaccinated.
"In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations, showing that the delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that causes COVID 19," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters Tuesday announcing the new recommendations.
"Information on the delta variants from several states and other countries, indicate that in rare occasion some vaccinated people infected with a delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others," she added. "This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendation."
When asked to release the new evidence, the CDC said more details would be released on Friday.
But Walensky hinted that the biggest driver was new unpublished research on a person's "viral load" -- the amount of virus in a person's nasal passages -- being considerably high even after being vaccinated with a U.S.-approved vaccine.
"What we've learned … is that when we examine the rare or breakthrough infections and we look at the amount of virus in those people, it is pretty similar to the amount of virus in unvaccinated people," she said.
Without that evidence released though, this week's mask announcement triggered fierce pushback among many conservatives, including House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy who claimed the CDC's decision relied solely on research from India that wasn't peer-reviewed.
But that claim is misleading. The CDC indeed cites research from India on viral loads as adding to global concerns about transmission post-vaccination. The agency, however, also makes clear that other research and additional studies were under way. And at no point does the CDC cite the research in India as the sole justification for its new mask guidance.
"These early data suggest that breakthrough delta infections are transmissible," the CDC said of the research in India. "Unpublished data are consistent with this, and additional data collection and studies are underway to understand the level and duration of transmissibility from delta vaccine breakthrough infections in the United States and other settings," the CDC wrote in a science brief posted online.
McCarthy's office did not respond to a request for comment on the misleading allegation, which was echoed by other Republicans on Twitter.
"Remember what I said about public health officials losing our trust?" tweeted Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw.
Simone Biles spoke out for the first time since she shocked the world by dropping out of the team final and women's individual all-around at the Tokyo Games to focus on her physical and mental health. On her Instagram Story Thursday night, the Team USA gymnast, who has six Olympic medals under her belt (four golds, one silver, one bronze), explained to fans why she decided to gracefully exit.
The Navy has filed charges against a sailor in connection with the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego last July, the service announced Thursday. Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, the 3rd Fleet commander, is considering court-martial charges, according to the statement. The admiral has set a preliminary hearing before any trial proceedings, "including whether or not there is probable cause to believe an offense has been committed and to offer a recommendation as to the disposition of the case," Robertson said.
Drew and Kayla Gottfried were heartbroken after they were told that their wedding video had been erased after they tied the knot in 2007. In a fortunate twist this past spring, Drew Gottfried received a call from their church saying that an old VHS tape had been found in the basement. Astonishingly, it was their wedding video.
President Joe Biden is stepping up efforts to get shots in people's arms, including calling on states, territories and local governments to do more to incentivize vaccination by offering $100 to those who get vaccinated and reimbursing small- and medium-sized businesses for offering their employees paid leave to get their family members vaccinated. "I think this is particularly important because our troops serve in places throughout the world, many where vaccination rates are low and disease is prevalent."
After a very public failure in 2019, Boeing and its Starliner spacecraft have a shot at redemption with their upcoming second test flight. The uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 mission was originally scheduled to launch on Friday, but it was scrubbed due to an unexpected incident at the International Space Station where it was set to dock. While NASA assures space station crew "was never and is not in any danger," flight controllers noticed an unplanned firing of thrusters on the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module on Thursday.
In "The Princess Diaries," Hathaway plays Mia Thermopolis, a not-so-popular teenage girl who finds out she is the heir to the throne of the fictional European country of Genovia and must choose between embracing her royal destiny or renouncing it entirely. Hathaway's Instagram post included photo stills from the movie, featuring cast members such as Julie Andrews, who played Clarisse Renaldi, Mia's grandmother and the Queen of Genovia; Heather Matarazzo, who played Mia's best friend, Lilly; Mandy Moore, who played Lana, a popular girl who bullied Mia; and Sandra Oh, who played Mia's school principal.
The Senate swiftly passed the $2.1B emergency security supplemental bill Thursday with a rare unanimous vote in the Senate and only 11 House members voting against it. The move staves off critical funding cuts that both the U.S. Capitol Police and National Guard were expected to enact following weeks of congressional inaction. Both forces were crushed by the emergency needs in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, each relying on Congress to reimburse them in the months after the attack.
On Thursday, NFL Communications Director Brian McCarthy said on Twitter that 87.9% of players have gotten at least one shot. The partial vaccination rate among NFL players overall is up from over 75% a week ago, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned teams that outbreaks may result in having to forfeit games during the regular 18-week season. The NFL is striving to have at least 85% of players on each team vaccinated.
Bars and restaurants are once again at the forefront of a polarizing business decision 16 months into the pandemic: Whether or not they should require patrons to wear masks inside or show vaccination status in order to dine safely. Parts of the country are bracing for change after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Wednesday that vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates due to the increasing spread of the delta variant. The agency did not publish new research but cited, “CDC COVID-19 Response Team, unpublished data, 2021."
A Boeing 747 pilot near Los Angeles reported Wednesday night another "possible jet pack man in sight." "A Boeing 747 pilot reported seeing an object that might have resembled a jet pack 15 miles east of LAX at 5,000 feet altitude around 6:12 p.m. Wednesday," a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration told ABC News. "Out of an abundance of caution, air traffic controllers alerted other pilots in the vicinity."
The Biden administration on Thursday announced a new strategic framework aimed at reducing and managing conditions in Central America that have caused unprecedented levels of migration in recent years. The strategy resembles much of what the administration has already proposed and focuses on reducing poverty, combating corruption and addressing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The administration previously dedicated $4 billion in financial support to the region, later saying that substantial portions of the money would not go to Northern Triangle governments and instead would be distributed among nonprofits and aid organizations.
The Biden administration on Thursday called on Congress to extend a federal freeze on evictions set to expire on Saturday, arguing its hands are tied by the Supreme Court. The moratorium, essentially a nationwide ban on evictions, was put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last September. In June, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the eviction ban to continue through the end of July but signaled in its ruling that it would block any further extensions unless there was "clear and specific congressional authorization."
Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson may be brothers, but that doesn't mean they necessarily understand everything the other does. Luke, who plays Pat Dugan (aka S.T.R.I.P.E.) on DC's "Stargirl," said Wednesday he just doesn't understand the Marvel action series, according to Entertainment Weekly. Despite not understanding "Loki," Luke did know that Owen "really enjoyed" working on it.
The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal workers could set the groundwork for more private sector organizations to follow along. President Joe Biden is expected to announce on Thursday a plan requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated or comply with "stringent COVID-19 protocols like mandatory mask wearing -- even in communities not with high or substantial spread -- and regular testing." The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that employers can require their employees to be vaccinated with exceptions being granted for religious and medical reasons.
With the country in the midst of a new nationwide resurgence of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, misinformation about the effectiveness of the vaccines has been proliferating on social media, with increased attention falling on the rare number of vaccinated people ending up in the intensive care unit (ICU). ABC News contacted 50 hospitals in 17 states, and asked them to share data on their ICU wards' current COVID-19 patients, including their vaccination status. In the surveyed hospitals, ABC News found that the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 patients currently being treated in ICUs were unvaccinated.
Matt Damon has finally confirmed what everybody has pretty much known for a while now -- he'll be reprising his role as "actor Loki" from "Thor: Ragnarok" in the Marvel franchise's upcoming fourth installment, "Thor: Love and Thunder." "We were kind of reprising a cameo that Luke Hemsworth [brother of "Thor" actor Chris Hemsworth] and I did in the last one," Damon explained.
Elton John is the latest celebrity to condemn the homophobic and controversial remarks about those living with HIV made by rapper DaBaby at Miami's Rolling Loud music festival Sunday night. "HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities," John, 74, continued.
The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition is fighting to end racial and social inequality. The group, which is composed of players, owners and staffers, has advocated for policy changes regarding criminal justice, policing and justice reform, by reaching out to lawmakers in Congress and state and local legislatures. The Social Justice Coalition was formed in 2020, after the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Burberry's latest campaign featuring Adam Driver has a lot of people swooning. The "Marriage Story" actor is the star of the luxury label's latest Hero fragrance campaign launching Aug. 2. One of the alluring brand images features Driver posing shirtless on sun-kissed shores, and fans are wondering if the actor comes with the fragrance based on how great he looks.
29 July, 2021 - 12:11am